Alone, Together: David Kunkle and Mike Rawlings Square Off in Mayoral Debate

Categories: Campaign News
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Photos by Patrick Michels
Mike Rawlings introduces himself to the Dallas business community.
After Mike Rawlings wrapped Ron Natinsky's endorsement this morning at the Adolphus, he joined fellow Dallas mayoral hopeful David Kunkle for lunch with the Dallas Regional Chamber and paying guests from Texas Instruments, DART, Oncor and Southwest Airlines.

After finishing their chicken, the race's two remaining contenders took the stage for the first one-on-one appearance of the campaign, now in its extended-remix period. Kunkle introduced himself first by praising the DRC as "one of the most important institutions" in town, then letting them know some of what he had to say "may not sit well with some people in the room." In front of some of the bigger business leaders in town, Kunkle stuck to his story that it's time to focus on the nuts and bolts: streets, neighborhoods, safety. "This is not a time for big-ticket projects," he said.

Rawlings, meanwhile, looked comfortable enough to curl up on the ballroom rug. He said repeatedly that economic development is the key to getting Dallas out of its budget woes and into greatness. "We've got a fiscal issue, and we're not going to be able to cut our way to success," he said. Vowing not to raise taxes, he said he'd cut the budget without sacrificing either police or, again, economic development. "We're gonna have to invest."

"Every time I've taken over a business, we've been at the nadir of the fiscal balance sheet," Rawlings said. "It's forced us to reinvent ourselves."

Rawlings waxed introspective about how Dallas's business leaders decades ago had paved the way for his own success. "I prospered. I got to clip the coupons of the work they did," he said. Now, he said, he'd like to make sure Dallas is good to a new generation of business leaders. He said when the time comes to lure new businesses to town, he's the man for the job. "I'm able to talk CEO-to-CEO about decisions that are critical to them."

In Rawlings's hands, the debate sounded more like an impromptu boardroom pep talk, full of buzzwords and bullet points. Rawlings even opined over "the genius of the 'and'" -- a leadership pointer taken from Jim Collins, whose book documentary Good To Great includes an appearance from Kunkle as DPD chief, and whose leadership book has been a mainstay of Kunkle's campaign appearances.

Asked how they'd support DISD as mayor, Rawlings talked big and talked leadership, saying Superintendent Michael Hinojosa's impending adios was an opportunity to attract "the best and brightest candidate" to run the district. "We'll never be a great city without a great public school system." Kunkle was a little less platitude-happy, saying City Hall needs to support the district and make sure it's focused on instruction.

A day after he came out in favor of releasing documents we've requested about the Trinity River Project, Kunkle reminded the audience why he's not interested in the toll road planned to run between the levees. Apart from the huge cost of the road and the safety questions from the Army Corps of Engineers, Kunkle said diverting traffic off surface streets isn't the way to promote economic development.

Kunkle closed with a playful jab at Rawlings -- a look at the lock box he said yesterday that he'd install at City Hall for whistleblowers to pass tips up to him. Putting the box on his lap as Rawlings looked on, he lifted up the lid to show a printed sign that read: "HAPPY TRAILS."

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46 comments
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Brenda
Brenda

To Mother May l

No insult to black community, only facts.  It has been know for years that Willis Johnson, Kathy Nealy, John Wiley Price and that group plays on the black community and the white community knows that.  Kunkle lost votes because that threw Laura Miller in the mix.  John Wiley Price made robo call saying it.  To me it is an insult that you do not recognize the truth.

Irony13
Irony13

 The next time Kunkle is at a debate  watch No. 5 on the front row texting him the answers. Hilarious! It's not like not one hasn't noticed. 

Brenda
Brenda

How much did Rawlings spend on the African American vote. Consultants Kathy Nealy and  and Willis Johnson and his wife got $245,000.  That did not include TV radio and newspaper.  Kunkle paid Joyce Foreman $8,000.00 to run his soutthern sector campaign.  So money can get the message out and buy off preachers and leaders in the black community.

FYI, Betty did not turn out the voters in her district. That district votes higher than many districts in the black community. Don't forget the boogie man (Laura Miller) hurt Kunkle in the black community.

Mother May I
Mother May I

You are insulting the black population.  Assuming they are stupid and follow blindly.  This is PRECISELY why Kunkle did so poorly in the black community.

elbueno
elbueno

The fact that the establishment REALLY doesn't want to elect Kunkle, should tell us all something:

They are scared shitless by a guy who actually has brains and thinks for himself. 

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

I am really sorry to tell you this, but the Establishment is NOT scared to death of Kunkle. 

The Rawlings campaign consultants were extremely surprised to see how low Kunkle's vote numbers were. 

The game is over, because the Natinsky voters are the type of people who will definitely return to the polls.  And, they are much more apt to vote for Rawlings.

So, perhaps you can do the math.

elpiedro
elpiedro

Oooh, the Man is coming to get ya!

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

Mike Rawlings is a very nice man,  got into this Mayors race after being ask by many people.When Mike was  helping to jump start the Homeless center,attending meeting with City staff,plan commission meetings,MDHA,  all the hours spent with different groups on the plan,away from his business, no one knew his name.When there was not enough money,he raised money,this man got no plaque or resolution, he did it for the homeless people. People who have no voice.Mike Rawlings has helped people ,that others would not give the time of day.I don't like  people saying things that are not true about anyone.Mike saw one of the problems with the Trails ,was no communication,again he simply ask a Friend to help,the man discovered the scope of work was more than he could donate,so he proposed to do job correct,at less than any other firm would do.Under State law Professional Service don't have to be Bid.In my opinion from what I read that's what happen. Vote for the man of your choice , don't kill a persons reputation with small talk and lies.

Mark Anthony Dallas
Mark Anthony Dallas

 Ms Betty just confirmed (after running her comment through Google translater) that Rawlings broke the law when he agreed to have his 'friends' fulfill the contract in violation of state law and city bidding procedures.

Rawlings admitted as much to the DMN when he said, 'the end justifies the means.'

Rawlings has found a way to reduce city expenses - he will unfund the city auditors and purchasing departments, and let all his 'friends' do the work without all that unnecessary paperwork, and of course no proof the work was ever done.

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

 Hey there, Avi Adelman, a/k/a Mark Anthony:Ask yourself why Culbreath's precinct delivered solid votes for Rawlings...and she was not paid.Whereas, Kunkle's paid consultants in African American community, Joyce Foreman and Dorothy Dean, could not deliver better than piss-poor numbers to Kunkle.  Joyce Foreman's precinct 3538:  Kunkle 48votes, Rawlings 169votes.  and, her paid partner, Dorothy Dean's prec. 3535 delivered:Kunkle 90 votes, Rawlings 264.whereas, Betty Culbreath's precinct 3536 did 75% of vote for Rawlings, 296 to 102.Maybe Culbreath is delivering a truth message and Joyce Foreman and Dorothy Dean couldn't sell the Kunkle lies no matter how many times they said:  "Don't pay any attention to that Laura Miller connection". 

Meanwhile you fools keep focusing on issues that nobody gives a rat's ass about.  We all know how to read.  We all know how Kunkle campaign is trying to twist the issue of the jogging trail and how Rawlings did lots to improve that.  But Kunkle campign is grabbing at straws trying to tarnish Rawlings' many good deeds because it's about all Kunkle's campaign can manage these days.  To dirty up all of Rawlings' many years of giving back to his community.

Dogs Rule
Dogs Rule

I'd rather have Rawlings than have the other guy who's puppet strings are being moved about by Sarah Dodd and Laura Miller.

I'm scared we will elect Laura Miller as Mayor.  I see her hand all over the Kunkle campaign message.  And, the Kunkle campaign game plan is straight out of the Laura Miller campaign playbook.

In addition, I'm really upset by the fact that Kunkle is promoting himself as champion of pet shelter causes. 

Where's he been all his life?  I've been involved for years with Paws in the City, and SPCA, and volunteer with many dog groups and nobody's ever seen him or heard from him and he's never given any money to any needy pet cause we can find.  But, now he is using the homeless pet issue to pretend he is their great King, just so he can lure votes.  For Christ's sake, they even have t-shirts printed saying Kats & Kanines for Kunkle. 

I don't appreciate Kunkle exploiting and using this very serious, dire problem for his own gain.

DrBevo
DrBevo

Hey Snooker Some Body - Why dont you just accept the fact that if Rawlings becomes Mayor he will nothing more than another Leppert, puppet of the Dallas Citizens Council. It doesnt matter what he has done before becoming mayor because if elected he will do what the Citizens Council tells him to do. That is the point, who he represents. Or more importantly, WHO HE DOESNT REPRESENT, which is the mass, the non-elite!!!! Rawlings will make most of his decisions as mayor, if he becomes mayor, in the best interest of his cronies and fellow Parkies and at the expense of the masses - taxpayers. 

EastDallas4Life
EastDallas4Life

 Learn how to use punctuation and then I will read this.

ElPiedra
ElPiedra

EastDallas4Life, so fucking arrogant. 

EastDallas4Life
EastDallas4Life

Apologies... I did not know that expecting someone to have a grammar education over the 3rd grade level was considered arrogant.

East Texas P1
East Texas P1

Brickman:

Supposedly a bunch of Rawlings' peeps got a bunch of no-bid contracts (a series of under $25K contracts) for the new signs on the Katy Trails.  One group also developed a ad clip for it.  Search is your friend.

Brickman
Brickman

I must be stupid--I don't get the "happy trails" joke. 

Amy S.
Amy S.

I just realized David Kunkle has a really great smile. Wish we'd see it more.

robincdoss
robincdoss

"Printapons" is a deal-of-the-day website that is localized if a certain number of people sign up for the offer, then the deal becomes available to all; if the predetermined minimum is not met, no one gets the deal that day.

Ginger5
Ginger5

Cutline for picture. "Hi, I'm Mike Rawlings and I'm a Boston native."

Rock, Paper, Scissors
Rock, Paper, Scissors

When a candidate grabs out for every issue or cause all over the sun, it's pretty obvious to me he sees his ship is sinking. 

Kunkle pulled out all the votes that were his to pull on Saturday.  The voters who voted for Natinsky will never choose Kunkle.  So there are no more votes to find.

I predict:Rawlings 53%Kunkle 47%

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

But, Kunkle got Okpa's support, right?

BigD75214
BigD75214

@ Mark Anthony  I would not hold a guy who's on wife #5 up as a model of ethics or character.

Mark Anthony
Mark Anthony

 Rawlings is divorced and remarried, yet I don't see any bitching on that issue.

We are electing a mayor, not a first family. Dodd won't be able to work at City Hall (let alone anywhere else in the county?), so all you have is a point of weak lighting to hit.

Let's be realistic - if you vote for Rawlings, you are going to wake up in a few years asking, Hey this guy is running for Congress and not finishing his mayoral term.

That would make three mayors who left before finishing terms.

Give me Kunkle anyday.

Miss Sally
Miss Sally

well, there's a great big whallop of a difference betweenbeing divorced once, and then now married several decades

when compared to being on your 5th marriaged by your 56th birthday.

Gives a whole new definition to the classic "7th year itch" stats. 

Also of note, Mr. and Mrs. Rawlings are of similar age.

David Kunkle's fifth (5th) wife is half his age.

BigD75214
BigD75214

One divorce is a mistake ... four divorces is a problem. And, what makes you think Kunkle won't want to run for Congress?! He clearly likes being in the public spotlight.

Purple Haze
Purple Haze

 Who the hell is Mark Anthony?

I'm betting it's Avi Adelman.  The writing style is so similar to that fucktard's posts in prior years.

Ginger5
Ginger5

Speaking of fucktards, I would be happy to point out the writing style of Mari and the rest on Gilligan's isle. Bring it.

Admonkey
Admonkey

 As long as you have your crystal ball out, can you give me the winning Lotto digits?

I suspect though that, as you on the 19th, I'll just wake up sad after they pull the numbers.

Like you say, I'm just being realistic.

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

I'd be more than happy to supply the list of names of DPD officers who need to go.  And, I really don't care about their fat pension funds.

DPD is not giving us our money's worth.  They are taking the largest pile of our budget pie and we still have high crime, no matter how much Kunkle has taught them to jiggle with the numbers and rename the crime so the stats look good.

Mark Anthony Dallas
Mark Anthony Dallas

 Sadly, Mr. admonkey, there are people (cough John Wiley cough) who believe the election is in the bag. The moneybags that are pouring funds to s dallas preachers, at a higher rate than the last go round of course, to get that vote back out.

In north dallas, the bags are not real - they are the promises of lucrative projects to be announced the day after the election, the sealed documents that show where the money for the trinity went (go north young man) and our city being sold out to the highest bidder.

In the middle are the resident streets, which will have potholes larger than OakCliffRes' butt, and getting bigger. The dpd will lose 100 officers, and their pension fund is gonna get raided for that new project. Don't even ask about rezoning - if it's good for business, it will be rubberstamped approved before the ink is dry on the zoning application.

If this concept does not scare the bejesus out of you, then it's clear who you are voting for.

If it does, then you need to make sure you vote for Kunkle.

Whodunit
Whodunit

I think the city has proven itself not to be a savvy investor.........and, that's the nice way of saying it! 

BigD75214
BigD75214

Patrick, can you tell me on which pages of the book Good To Great Kunkle is mentioned?

Patrick Michels
Patrick Michels

 I sure can't -- and we're working on confirming whether it was the book itself, or the documentary that followed, that features Kunkle. Thanks for raising that question.

Admonkey
Admonkey

In Kunkle's bio: "David Kunkle has been recognized nationally for his leadership abilities. In a PBS documentary, Jim Collins, best-selling author of the leadership book, Good to Great, heralded David's leadership style as a successful model for turning around organizations in turmoil and as the only example of a Level 5 public sector leader." Whatever the f^ck that means.

Sharon Boyd
Sharon Boyd

Laura's mother is very ill, and she's been with her for a couple of weeks.  David knows she's not the most popular person in some parts of Dallas, but he doesn't snub his friends.  He's really a decent man who wants to make Dallas better for the people who live here.  It's a hard concept for some to comprehend. 

Mark Anthony
Mark Anthony

 The book is a reference for the Level 5 leader (charismatically challenged model) that Kunkle is comfortable with. It's called a talking point.

Rawlings carries his big butt around, pushes you all over the place until you agree to vote for him. It's called being a bully.

Who would you rather have for mayor - Someone who has been ethical and a leader and been out in the neighborhoods for years, or someone who admits to stealing ideas, stealing from the poor (pay day loans) and could not find most neighborhoods without a map

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

So Kunkle carries around a book that he's not even in, but his biggest supporter Laura Miller is no where to be found....

Patrick Michels
Patrick Michels

That's it -- just double-checked, he was picked as a leadership example in the documentary based on the book. My mistake, it'll be fixed in the post.

Mark Anthony
Mark Anthony

For the life of me, I am trying to figure out what new, world-class city project can rawlings be fronting for?

We already have bridges to nowhere and no bank, a river walk (on the levee), monuments to corporate bloodsuckers like Hunt Oil, a corrupt city council, an arena, and Jerry's World next door.

Suggestions???

Ginger5
Ginger5

Always a real estate deal or construction project. Simply keep tabs on all Allyn Media and Carol Reed clients and follow the money.

Informed Citizen
Informed Citizen

A replacement for Rangers Stadium in downtown Dallas.  

WalkableDFW
WalkableDFW

 I actually don't mind Rawlings suggesting that we have to invest, because in actuality, we do.  Problem is, and if history is any guide, we'll invest in things with very little actual return.

Texaspainter
Texaspainter

"We're gonna have to invest." translation: "We're gunna have to raise taaaayyyyxxxesss"

Darrylrs
Darrylrs

Again, if paying a little more in taxes means keeping pools and libraries open for the kids, then sign me up. We have one of the lowest tax rates in the world and we get shit for services and streets, etc. Kunkle is right. Rawlings is just another suit with corporate sponsorship. Invest? With what? Trim the budget? There might be A LOT less fat to that beast than most believe.  

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

Trust me, there's still a whole lot of fat there to be trimmed. 

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